Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The Octopus would like to put a stop to us.

The Octopus would like to put a stop to us. By dettmer otto, with poem by Benjamin Heathcote . Otto books, 2010. 21pp., 4 colours, stencil painted, staple bound, 29,7x42cm.

I really like this book 'The Octopus would like to put a stop to us' from otto books - it's a sweet example of book art (and I do love screenprinting).

Otto says of his book art:

"I'd like to think that in my books every page is a cover. There are no 'dead' areas, I try to fill the book inch by inch with the most modern, exciting and challenging graphics. My books are fresh and lively, but also engaging and critical: there are no compromises. I am driven by a passion for the printed image on paper, and I take a pride in what I do.

My books are illustration based, text plays a supportive role. Most are screen printed in small editions. Quality of print and paper is paramount. I don't put too much into the binding as I try to keep the costs and prices low.

The visual narratives deal with mythologies in contemporary culture, such as consumerism, work-ethic, self-destruction."

To view all pages of 'The Octopus would like to put a stop to us' go here (click on new books and then on the title) and for more books and illustration work by Otto go here.

Monday, November 29, 2010

a photo a day - month eleven

a photo a day (set). Month eleven (28 Oct-26 Nov).

I've now come to the end of month eleven of my photo project/diary 'a photo a day' (month eleven is above, you can see the first month here, the second month here, the third month here, the fourth month here, the fifth month here, the sixth month here, the seventh month here, the eight month here, the ninth month here and the tenth month here).

'a photo a day' is an incidental look at what I see out the window or on my way to places everyday. Even if I live in a city environment most of the time I'm primarily focusing on landscape or the sky, as I find the intense impact nature has on us even in a city-setting very interesting indeed (spending time mainly in Stockholm with its' clearly defined seasons and high impact of the weather, this is even more poignant, and thus interesting to document).

It will hopefully be an interesting capture of the seasons changing, random captures of immediate or unexpected loveliness, as well as some beautiful photographs.

You can see the result so far above, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here and here (full set here) or view the individual images, today's photograph and continue to follow the project going forward by clicking here or here.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Spessi: Location.

Location. Photographs by Spessi. Text by Stephanie Cash. The Fishfactory Iceland, Iceland, 2007. 244 pp., 210 colour illustrations, 9½x11".

Wonderful, and in a way unexpected, photographs of Iceland - photographs of empty landscapes and abandoned, overlooked, every-day environments.

Book description:

"In her catalogue essay to this remarkable new collection of photographs of the Icelandic landscape and other abandoned or emptied-out environments there, Art in America's Stephanie Cash writes,

'There is a sense of comforting ordinariness that pervades the work of Icelandic artist Spessi. His subjects aren't grandly majestic or fashionably downtrodden. They just are.

In various series Spessi has photographed Icelandic sites or people. But his are not the iconic images of tourist postcards. Instead, he captures the largely overlooked scenery you might pass on the way to the tourist hotspots - gas stations, construction sites, empty landscapes with snow-capped mountains in the distance.

Printed on a large scale, the works imbue their subjects with a grandiosity that belies their ordinariness.'

Whether capturing a lone tree in a barren landscape, an empty kitchen or a humble office building, all of Spessi's work infers 'the presence of humans, whether in memory or in anticipation.' "

Friday, November 26, 2010

Dying Birds.

Dying Birds. Photographs by Nicolai Howalt & Trine Søndergaard. Hassla Books, 2010. 32 pp., black & white images, 6½x9½". Images from photo-eye.

'Dying Birds' is a "photographic study of the forms of hunted birds" - a book by photographers Trine Søndergaard and Nicolai Howalt expanding on their previous project 'How to Hunt'.

"In this series of images the artists have captured birds in their struggle to live whilst being hunted, and ultimately in their final earthbound moments."

This is quite a cruel project really that doesn't sit comfortably with me, but I'm very interested in the questions and feelings it rises. And the undeniable beauty of the birds' final demise.

Both quotes from here.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Black Icebergs.

Black Icebergs. By Leslie Shows. Hassla Books, 2010. 24pp., colour offset, 6.5 x 10". Limited edition of 500 copies.

'Black Icebergs' is a book featuring work by the American artist Leslie Shows.

Shows' work has been "exhibited at the 2006 California Biennial at the Orange County Museum of Art, the Oakland Art Museum, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art’s 2010 anniversary exhibition, 75 Years of Looking Forward.

She has been the recipient of a Fleishhacker Foundation Eureka Fellowship, an SFMOMA SECA Award, an Artadia Award, and the Tournesol Award from the Headlands Center for the Arts.

In addition to group shows throughout the United States, Shows has had four solo exhibitions with the Jack Hanley Gallery in New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco.

Her work has been written about in The New Yorker, ArtReview, and Artforum.com, and featured in Harper’s.

Shows has published two artist books - 'Heap of Elements', through Headlands Center for the Arts, and 'Black Icebergs', from Hassla."

Quote from here.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010


Murmuration. Photographs by Rinko Kawauchi. Photoworks, 2010. 64 pp., colour illustrations throughout, 6½x8". Images from photo-eye.

The book 'Murmuration' features work by renowned Japanese photographer Rinko Kawauchi. It was commissioned by Photoworks and made for the Brighton Photo Biennial 2010: New Documents (curated by photographer Martin Parr).

Kawauchi is known for photographs that "capture the beauty of the everyday, [and she] gained international acclaim for her photography books Utatane, Hanabi and Hanako.

Invited to make new work about Brighton, Kawauchi was immediately drawn to the spectacle of flocking starlings at Brighton Pier.

Here during the winter months at dusk, the birds gather in tens of thousands, wheeling around to create a mesmerizing cloud called a murmuration.
Kawauchi is fascinated by the ephemeral nature of this phenomenon and, continuing with the theme of the flock, she has also trailed groups of people through the city."

Quote from here.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Soleil Cou Coupe.

Soleil Cou Coupe. One Picture Book #10. Photograph by Julien Coulommier. Text by Freddy De Vree. Nazraeli Press, Tucson, 2002. 16 pp., 1 original gelatin silver print, 5½x7¼".

One Picture Book is an ongoing series of limited edition artists' books published by Nazraeli Press, which I've previously written about here, here and here for example.

The artist is asked to create a book based on one image or series of connected images, from their previous work. The hardcover edition is limited to 500 and contains an original print by the artist.

'Soleil Cou Coupe' (One Picture Book #10) is the work of Belgian photographer, author and critic Julien Coulommier, who's been "an important figure in western European avant-garde art since the early 1950s.

His association with Otto Steinert led Coulommier to be seen as a representative of subjective photography in Belgium and Holland, but his most important stimulus came from the Belgian surrealist Marcel Broodthaers, with whom he became friends.

Coulommier started out at a time when abstract art and figurative art were seen very much as separate genres. With great skill and imagination he has melded these opposing styles, presenting the abstract figuratively and the figurative in an abstract way. He has long been concerned with exploring the difference between knowledge about things and images of them.

'My creative vision discovers the hidden aspects that are in unison with my own inner world and gives them a visible form as a picture,' Coulommier has said of his work.

Freddy De Vree has written a memorable and vividly descriptive poem in honor of Coulommier’s work, and it complements perfectly the original print tipped into the final page of each book."

Quote from here.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Coming Up for Air.

Coming Up for Air. Photographs by Stephen Gill. Nobody Books, 2010. 106 pp., 98 colour illustrations, 13x10".

Another great book from Stephen Gill...

Book description:

"Coming up for Air is the result of Stephen Gill’s long-term photographic body of work made in Japan between 2008 & 2009.

Though the images were made in Japan they are not essentially about Japan. These images create a chance to sink into a kind of fictional aquatic world that somehow leaves you gasping for breath.

The book is made up of faint and often barely audible traces from the real world. 'Imagine holding your breath and putting your fingers in your ears to mute the chaos of the modern world.'

Unlike other well-known series by Gill this time the information in his images has been starved or completely denied, like muffled chaos through squinted eyes."

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

In the Places of the Spirits.

In the Places of the Spirits. Photographs by David Grant Noble; foreword by N. Scott Momaday. SAR Press, 2010.

A beautiful title and some beautiful black and white landscape photography of the American Southwest.

Book description:

"This book represents the culmination of David Grant Noble’s forty-year career as a fine arts photographer and writer. It features seventy-six duotone plates and five additional photos of the land, people, and deep past of the Southwest, most published here for the first time.

Accompanying these beautiful images are personal reflections interwoven with historical and anthropological information. The moving passages reveal much about the man and the magnificent land that inspires his artistry.

'The places we know,' Noble writes, 'can be infused with memory and spirit, and landscapes can have soul.

The stories contained may speak of creation, gods, mythic monsters, and heroes. They may hold narratives reminding us of triumphs and defeats, sorrows and joys.

A place is more than a landform or an ecosystem; it has the capacity to evoke emotion, transmit knowledge and wisdom, and even show people how to live.' "

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Architecture Under Construction.

Architecture Under Construction. Photographs by Stanley Greenberg. University Of Chicago Press, Chicago, 2010. 120 pp., 80 halftone illustrations, 11x11".

"Mies van der Rohe once commented, 'Only skyscrapers under construction reveal their bold constructive thoughts, and then the impression made by their soaring skeletal frames is overwhelming.'
In 'Architecture under Construction', photographer Stanley Greenberg explores the anatomy and engineering of some of our most unusual new buildings, helping us to understand our own fascination with what makes buildings stand up, and what makes them fall down.

As designs for new constructions are revealed and the public watches closely as architects and engineers challenge each other with provocative new forms and equally audacious ideas, Greenberg captures penetrating images that reveal the complex mystery - and beauty - found in the transitory moments before the skin of a building covers up the structures that hold it together."

The photographs are "framed" by a historical and critical essay by Joseph Rosa. The constructions depicted includes buildings designed by Norman Foster, Frank Gehry, Steven Holl, Daniel Libeskind, Thom Mayne, and Renzo Piano, among others.

Quotes from here.

Monday, November 15, 2010


Spomenik. Photographs by Jan Kempenaers. Roma Publications, 2010. 68 pp., colour illustrations throughout, 13x10". Images from Roma Publications.

I've only recently come across the work of photographer Jan Kempenaers, and I'm really impressed and intrigued by his great work capturing the intersection of urban places and landscape, from a rather conceptual angle.

In the book 'Spomenik' he's photographed some former east-block sculptural monuments to the Second World War, and in capturing their beauty opened up the larger issue of their social and historical impact.

"During the 1960s and 70s, thousands of monuments commemorating the Second World War - called 'Spomeniks' - were built throughout the former Yugoslavia; striking monumental sculptures, with an angular geometry echoing the shapes of flowers, crystals, and macro-views of viruses or DNA. In the 1980s the Spomeniks still attracted millions of visitors from the Eastern bloc; today they are largely neglected and unknown, their symbolism lost and unwanted.

Antwerp-based photographer Jan Kempenaers travelled the Balkans photographing these eerie objects, presented in this book as a powerful typological series.

The beauty and mystery of the isolated, crumbling Spomeniks informs Kempenaer's enquiry into memory, found beauty, and whether former monuments can function as pure sculpture."

Quote from here.

Friday, November 12, 2010

The Color of Hay.

The Color of Hay. Photographs by Kathleen Laraia McLaughlin. Kathleen Laraia McLaughlin., 2010. 204 pp., 44 colour and 94 duotone illustrations, 9x11".

Book description:

"Transylvania at the turn of the Millennium is an island of waterwheels and horse-carts facing erosion by the incoming tide of a modernizing European Union.

During this pivotal time, in a remote valley of northern Romania called Maramures, peasants have kept their traditions alive and defied assimilation since the Romans.

Now, a final generation is going about their daily farming chores and raising children who have the opportunity to leave their ancestral villages and make a modern life in a world of change.

For over two years, Kathleen Laraia McLaughlin and her husband H. Woods lived as peasants do - relying on a wood burning stove, bathing without running water, and sharing one roof with three generations.

Kathleen’s medium format photographs cover all four seasons of life in Maramures. Essays from H. Woods help add depth and explanation."

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Parking Lot Hydra.

Parking Lot Hydra. Photographs by Estelle Hanania. Decathlon Books, 2009. 50 pp., colour on white and green newsprint, 8½x11". Limited edition of 500 copies. Images from photo-eye and from More Paper/Estelle Hanania.

"Duncan Hamilton & Peter Sutherland created a publishing project in NYC called Decathlon Books. A collection of 10 titles to present artists, designers and photographers they think are interesting."

On of the artists in this series is photographer Estelle Hanania who's book for the project, 'Parking Lot Hydra', is a "unique documentation of a Balkan winter masquerade, in which men don elaborate feathered masks and long yak fur costumes.

Her vantage point is the parking lot surrounding the festival, a transitional space caught between banal reality and outlandish artifice. Here, traditional attire is heaped on top of modern cars, and teenagers remove their masks for cigarette breaks away from the proceedings.

An interview between Hanania and the publishers precedes the photographs."

To view the entire book have a look at this video. Also read an interview with Hanania and view images from her exhibition of these photographs at Tensta Konsthall here.

First quote from colette ; second quote from publisher's description.

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

A Book of Birds.

A Book of Birds. Photographs by Stephen Gill. Super Labo, 2010. 32 pp., 15 colour illustrations, 7¼x10¼".

I've written about books with British photographer Stephen Gill's work before here, here and here. In 'A Book of Birds' he merges the city-aesthetics and areas of interests of those books with the area of photographic interest (birds) he had as a teenager.

Gill says of the book:

"Photography, birds and animals all merged for me as a teenager as I was fascinated with those things. I spent much time photographing birds when I was around 13 years old sitting patiently waiting for a bird to land in a spot where I had placed food and carefully set up my Dixons Miranda camera and long air cable release running into the kitchen.

Through photography and with the help of the Observer's book of birds I got to know the different species that visited our garden.

About 20 years later after spending more time making work inspired by cities (mostly East London) I decided to re visit the subject of birds.

This time in the city and built up areas. I wanted to make a study of how birds fit and mould their lives around ours and adapt to what we have created. I was also very interested to hear that scientists found that birds in towns and cities sing louder or use higher frequencies compared to the same rural species so they can be heard above the man-made noise."

Monday, November 08, 2010


Kodachromes. Photographs by William Christenberry. Aperture, 2010. 176 pp., 115 colour illustrations, 9½x11½".

'Kodachromes' is American photographer William Christenberry's "first publication to showcase the artist's stunning and previously unknown body of work produced with 35 mm Kodachrome slide film. Spanning from 1964 to 2007, only a small number of the images have ever been published or exhibited.

As in all of Christenberry's photographs, the subject matter is the rural Deep South: the twisting back roads, open landscapes, rusted signage, and ramshackle vernacular architecture found in Hale County, Alabama where the artist was born and raised.

Though many of the sites pictured in this rare collection are new, other subjects grew iconic in Christenberry's oeuvre as he has returned to photograph them for decades - the red building in the forest, Sprott Church, the Palmist Sign, and the Bar-B-Q Inn, among others.

However, the photographs in 'William Christenberry: Kodachromes', made with a camera that allowed for greater mobility, reveal new ways of considering Christenberry's perennial subjects and offer further insight into the working method of this venerable artist.

With the recent discontinuation of Kodachrome film by Kodak, the work in this beautiful volume is rendered even more meaningful."

Read more about William Christenberry here, here or here for example.

Quote from here.

Saturday, November 06, 2010

Alla helgons dag

Image by Anita Elgerot

"In Western Christian theology, the day commemorates all those who have attained the beatific vision in Heaven. It is a national holiday in many historically Catholic countries.
Other Christian traditions define, remember and respond to the saints in different ways."

In many European countries including Sweden the tradition is to light candles and visit the graves of deceased relatives.

Read more here or here for example.

Quote from here.

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Daido Moriyama Record No. 14.

Daido Moriyama Record No. 14. Photographs by Daido Moriyama. Nazraeli Press, Portland, 2010. Unpaged, colour illustrations throughout, 8¼x11".

Daido Moriyama is a Japanese photographer and writer concerned with depicting the tearing down of traditional values in post-war Japan, drawing attention to the "indigenous world that remained in the shadows of rapid economic growth."

Moriyama’s 'Record' series is "a personal photographic magazine originally conceived by Moriyama in 1972". I've previously featured other books from this series here.

'Record No. 14' is "the latest installment from Moriyama’s ongoing magazine series and the first dedicated to full color digital photographs.

The images were taken around the surroundings of Asahikawa, Hokkaido and while they are a departure from the photographs shown in previous issues, Record No. 14 provides a glimpse of the full scope of this iconic photographer’s vision."

First quote from here ; second and third quote from here.

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Der Baum.

Der Baum. Photographs by Erik van der Weijde. 4478ZINE, 2010. 48 pp., black & white illustrations throughout, 6¾x9½".

I very much like the work of photographer Erik Van der Weijde and have previously featured the wonderful book 'Superquadra' featuring his photographs.

The book 'Der Baum' (the title meaning 'the tree') is partly inspired by a German photography book of the same title that was published in 1931.

Erik Van der Weijde's book 'Der Baum' "features 44 photographs of trees taken by Van der Weijde in recent years.

The tree's locations range from historical sites like Hitler's elementary school and the scenes of famous crimes, to unidentified places that give rise to oblique atmospheres and titles such as 'School', 'Road' and 'Park'.

As in his other publications, Van der Weijde deals in typological representations that explore the photo book itself as an object."

Also have a look at this movie showing each page of the book.

Quote from here.